Republic of El Salvador
República de El Salvador
CAPITAL : San Salvador
FLAG : The national flag consists of a white stripe between two horizontal blue stripes. The national coat of arms is centered in the white band.
ANTHEM : Saludemos la Patria Orgullosos (Let us Proudly Hail the Fatherland).
MONETARY UNIT : The colón ( C ), often called the peso, is a paper currency of 100 centavos. There are coins of 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 25, and 50 centavos and 1 colón, and notes of 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 colónes. C 1 = $0.11428 (or $1 = C 8.75) as of January 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard, but some old Spanish measures also are used.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Labor Day, 1 May; Independence Day, 15 September; Columbus Day, 12 October; All Souls' Day, 2 November; First Call for Independence, 5 November; Christmas, 25 December. Movable religious holidays include Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Monday, and Corpus Christi; there is a movable secular holiday, the Festival (1st week in August).
TIME : 6 AM = noon GMT.
The population of El Salvador is racially and culturally homogeneous, with about 90% mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian), 1% Amerindian (mainly the Pipil tribes), and 9% white.
The official language of the country is Spanish. A few Amerindians continue to speak Nahua.
In 2002, 16,800 personnel were in service with reserves consisting of registered former soldiers. Military numbers had been reduced prescribed by the peace accord ending civil war. There were some 15,000 members in the army, 700 in the navy, and an air force of 1,100. The paramilitary consisted of the national civilian police numbering 12,000. In 1999, $112 million, or about 0.7% of GDP was budgeted for national defense.
El Salvador is a founding member of the UN, having joined on 24 October 1945, and participates in BCIE, CACM, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO and WTrO.
The fishing industry, which centers on shrimp, has undergone significant development since it first gained commercial importance in 1957. The best coastal fishing grounds are off the southeastern sector. Scaled fish include freshwater robalo, sea bass, mullet, mackerel, swordfish, and redmouth; a tuna industry has been operating since 1963. The total fish catch was 9,590 tons in 2000.
By 2000, El Salvador had at least 19 insurance companies in operation. The 1995 Insurance Law provided national treatment for foreign insurance firms. In 2001, there was $59 million worth of life insurance premiums written.
According to the Heritage Foundation in 2000, El Salvador has the most open trade environment in Central America. El Salvador completed a Tariff Reduction Program in 1999 and as a result has tariffs of 0% on capital goods, 0–5% on raw materials, 5–10% on intermediate goods, and up to 15% on final products. Some items, such as textiles, agricultural products, and vehicles receive higher tariffs of up to 40%.
El Salvador has no territories or colonies.
Boland, Roy. Culture and Customs of El Salvador. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2001.
Byrne, Hugh. El Salvador's Civil War: A Study of Revolution . Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1996.
Doggett, Martha. Death Foretold: The Jesuit Murders in El Salvador. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1993.
Health in the Americas, 2002 edition. Washington, D.C.: Pan American Health Organization, Pan American Sanitary Bureau, Regional Office of the World Health Organization, 2002.
Johnstone, Ian. Rights and Reconciliation: UN Strategies in El Salvador . Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Reinner Publishers, 1995.
Little, Michael R. A War of Information: The Conflict Between Public and Private U.S. Foreign Policy on El Salvador, 1979-1992 . Lanhan, Md.: University Press of America, 1994.
Peterson, Anna, Manuel Vásquez, and Philip Williams (eds.). Christianity, Social Change, and Globalization in the Americas. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2001.
Studemeister, Margarita S. (ed.). El Salvador: Implementation of the Peace Accords. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Institute of Peace, 2001.